Recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote from Dr. King is our reality these days – the disappointment and resulting stress seems to be never-ending – the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, capacity issues, staffing crisis, and the list goes on. But we can’t lose our sense of hope, even if it is hard to find right now.

I have to be honest that I wasn’t sure if I was going to share a message to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, given the current chaos. But then I had to remind myself that ending racism and fighting for social justice – what Dr. King worked tirelessly to do – shouldn’t stop just because we are in a different kind of crisis.

Despite all that is going on, our work in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is going full steam ahead.  I am inspired by how so many of our caregivers work tirelessly to take care of our patients and are making sure our mantra “Everyone, Everyday” truly means Everyone! I am pleased to work alongside Brian Gibbs, PhD, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer, who joined us last year, to help drive our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts.

I know it may be hard to pay attention to things like this when it feels like the world around us is falling apart. But at the heart of diversity, equity inclusion and belonging is making sure that we are all in this together! And that is the only way we can get through this crisis – to heal together and keep moving forward on our journey to becoming the best place to give care and the best place to get care.

I’ll end this message with another quote from Dr. King that I think is relevant to what is happening to us today: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Thank you to all our caregivers at UMass Memorial Health for continuing to move forward to take great care of our patients and each other.

Stay strong!